Daily Archives: February 10, 2014

Addis Ababa’s master plan under revision, again

(A4O, 11 February 2014) The development of a new master plan for Addis Ababa which also integrates the Oromia special zone is in the final stages.

Map of around Finfinnee11An international conference, which aims to add some inputs to the new international-level master plan, is scheduled to be held at the end of the current budget year.

The Addis Ababa and Surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan Project Office has drafted the new Addis Ababa master plan that will incorporate the outskirts of the Oromia Regional state with the development of the metropolis.

The new draft master plan aims to modernize the city in collaboration with the Oromia Special zone and has been presented to civic society on Tuesday, June 4, to obtain additional feedback from the public.

Officials of the project office told Capital that similar panel discussions will be held with different stakeholders to gather fresh ideas to include in the new master plan. “The final event will be the international conference that will take place in the town of Adama (Nazareth) for three days, from 26 to 28 June.

At the event, federal government officials, all regional administrations, officials from other African countries, African Union officials, prominent European master plan institutions and other relevant stakeholder will be able to comment, evaluate  critique the draft plan,” Fetuma Lemessa, Deputy Manager of Addis Ababa and The Surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan Project Office, told Capital.

“The draft master plan will be finalised by the end of July 2013 after it includes the new inputs that shall be drawn from the international conference,” he added.

According to the plan, in the coming budget year the project office will undertake the accomplishment of the implementation strategy, the second phase of the project that will help realise the new master plan, which is expected to take the whole of the coming budget year.

Fetuma said that the actual implementation of the master plan will take place after one year.
Twelve studies involving different sectors were used to draft the master plan and took one year. According to the plan, towns on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, those under the Oromia Regional administration, will be included during the implementation of the master plan.

The development of highways and roads, parking lots for buildings, the establishment of several market areas throughout the metropolis, the various development of land, a detailed classification of mass and private transportation, the classification of metropolitan areas and the development of an international standard airport, are some of the studies included in the new plan.

The master plan for the city and the Oromia Special zone covers 1.1 million hectares of land and incorporates 5.7 million people currently, and is a plan for the coming 25 years.

For further information https://www.dropbox.com/sh/351vsabzpixbol1/5y6lqogioK


The Oromo year is twelve lunar synodic months of 354 days

(A4O, 10 February 2014) The original Oromo calendar is a lunar-stellar calendrical system, relying on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven particular stars (or star groups).

According to the researchers at no time (except indirectly by way of lunar phase) does it rely upon solar observations.

The Borana year is twelve lunar synodic months (each 29.5 days long), 354 days.

While it will not correspond to the seasons, this may not be of primary importance for people this close to the equator.

There are twenty-seven day names (no weeks), and since each month is either 29 or 30 days long, the first two (or three) day names are used twice in the same month starts on a new day name.

Many argue that it is not the pride of Oromo people, but  the heritage of the whole humanity if properly recognized.

According to Nure Adem it is the symbol of Oromo civilization. “The great Oromo is pride of all Africans and one of the indicators of Oromo Wisdom in Black Civilization!”

The original Oromo months (Stars/Lunar Phases) are Bittottessa (iangulum), Camsa (Pleiades), Bufa (Aldebarran), Waxabajjii (Belletrix), Obora Gudda (Central Orion-Saiph), Obora Dikka (Sirius), Birra (full moon), Cikawa (gibbous moon), Sadasaa (quarter moon), Abrasa (large crescent), Ammaji (medium crescent), and Gurrandala (small crescent).

 The concept of Oromo Calendar

Time is a very important concept in Gadaa and therefore in Oromo life.

Gadaa itself can be narrowly defined as a given set of time (period) which groups of individuals perform specific duties in a society.

Gadaa could also mean age.

The lives of individuals, rituals, ceremonies, political and economic activities are scheduled rather precisely. For this purpose, the Oromo have a calendar. The calendar is also used for weather forecasting and divination purposes.

The Oromo calendar is based on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven or eight particular stars or star groups (Legesse, 1973 and Bassi, 1988) called Urji Dhaha (guiding stars).

According to this calendar system, there are approximately 30 days in a month and 12 months in a year. The first day of a month is the day the new moon appears. A day (24 hours) starts and ends at sunrise.

In the Oromo calendar each day of the month and each month of the year has a name. Instead of the expected 29 or 30 names for days of a month, there are only 27 names. These 27 days of the month are permutated through the twelve months, in such a way that the beginning of each month moves forward by 2 or 3 days. The loss per month is then the difference between the 27-day month and the 30-day month, (Legesse, 1973).

One interesting observation is that, as illustrated in the computing of time like in the Oromo calendar, Oromos visualization of events is cyclical just as many events in nature are cyclical.

Since each day (called ayyaana) of a month has a name, the Oromo traditionally had no use for names of the days of a week.

Perhaps it is because of this that today in different parts of Oromia different names are in use for the days of a week. Each of the 27 days (ayyaana) of the month have special meaning and connotation to the Oromo time-keeping experts, called Ayyaantu.

Ayyaantu can tell the day, the month, the year and the Gadaa period by keeping track of time astronomically. They are experts, in astronomy and supplement their memory of things by examining the relative position of eight stars or star groups, (Bassi, 1988) and the moon to determine the day (ayyaana) and the month.

On the basis of astronomical observations, they make an adjustment in the day name every two or three months. The pillars found a few years ago in north-western Kenya by Lynch and Robbins (1978) has been suggested to represent a site used to develop the Oromo calendar system.

According to these researchers, it is the first archaeo-astronomical evidence in subSaharan Africa. Doyle (1986) has suggested 300 B.C. as the approximate date of its invention.

According to Asmarom Legesse (1973), “The Oromo calendar is a great and unique invention and has been recorded only in a very few cultures in history of mankind.” The only other known cultures with this type of time-keeping are the Chinese, Mayans and Hindus. Legesse states that the Oromo are unusual in that they seem to be the only people.

It is believed that the Oromo developed their own calendar around 300 BC.


More than 36 towns and 17 districts will be integrated to Addis Ababa administrative.

(Oromedia, 10 February 2014) The newly established office of “Addis Ababa and surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan” has drafted a new master plan in an international conference held in Adama on June 2013.

Map of around FinfinneeSources from Finfnenne says  about 36 towns and 17 districts which are currently in Oromia and administered by Oromia regional state will be merged with Finfinne, so that the land use and the administration issues will be determined by the central mayor of Finfinne. 

According to the proposed plan, which you can see from the map, the new Master plan will incorporate all the Oromia towns and districts lying within the range of 100 km from Finfinnee.

Some of the towns are  Adama,Sodere,Mojo,Wenji, Ejere, Alem Tena, Koka, Adulala, Bushoftu, Dukem, Gelen, Akaki Beseka, Godino,Chefe Donsa,Sebeta,Sendafa, Milkewa, Wendoda,Sirti, Duber, Gonfo,Chancho, Mulo, Debre Muger, Ulo, Adis Alem, Holota, Burayu, Debre Genet, Illu Teji, Tefki, Sebera Boneya, Melka Kunture and etc.

Map of around Finfinnee11According to the sources, some of the districts areas are  Adma Dodota,Bora, Lome, Liben chukala, Adea, Akaki,Gimbichu, Bereh, Aleltu, Jida, Sululta, Ejere, Welmera, Illu, Sebeta, Hawas and etc.

Leaving behind the unresolved constitutional right over Finfinne, the TPLF government is going to grab our fertile land and clear the indigenous dwellers.

When farmers of these areas are forced to leave their land, caused by road and industrial area construction, they usually don’t receive any equivalent compensation, and many find themselves migrating to find another daily labour occupation to survive their big family.

Analyst says the concept of integration and interconnection is not against the  will of the Oromo people but the indigenous right must be respected.

Around Finfinnee “Oromos are not against interconnection and integration of cities and towns that enhance mutual development of other parties, but we are against the clearing of indigenous people, loosing right of land, the political administrative issue and not least the geographical and identity issue,” says.

There is a big discussion on this issues  on different social media.

According to Hawi Chala, Oromo young Oromo activist and analyst the current trend has direct impact on the indigenous right . “Peripheral small towns are becoming overpopulated by new comers kicking out the indigenous farmers.

Gadissa H  says, “this is clear and present danger for the Oromo people in all aspects; politically, economically and socio-culturally. The question now should be how can we prevent/mitigate?”

According to Habte Dafa the action is a “systematic eviction and the abuse of the God given rights of the Oromo people needs to be approached collectively, cohesively and purposefully.

He added that  the action to evict the Oromo people from birth place is unacceptable.  “Enough is enough for our people. …It is the high time when all the able citizens of Oromia must put the feasible legal actions into motion. This is an ethical and moral responsibility.”

 Abdii Gemechu  also criticized the Oromo ruling party strongly for unable to protect Oromo’s natural right over their homeland.

“That is why I vehemently oppose the coward OPDOs.”

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